Mesoblast surges on cusp of US approval

Australian biotech Mesoblast has surged on the share market by 36 per cent after US health authorities voted for its therapy to treat a rare disease which affects blood cancer patients.

A government committee voted nine to one for the Ryoncil intravenous therapy, designed to treat steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease.

The committee vote will inform a final decision expected by September 30.

The general forms of the life-threatening disease affect about half the people who have bone marrow transplants for blood cancer.

Ryoncil would be used to treat children under 12 years.

Investors have been excited by the earning potential, as the US has no approved therapy for children.

If the US approves the therapy, Mesoblast said it will make it available this year.

Ryoncil is based on a cell therapy called remestemcel-L, which the company is developing for other diseases including COVID-19.

At 1500 AEST on Friday, Mesoblast shares were higher by 36.98 per cent to $4.63.

This is well below their record price of $9.93.

The shares have gained 117.31 per cent since January 1.

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